Mary Lu graduated from Trinity University in Texas with a BA degree in Secondary Education and a minor in Geology. She earned her MS degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her career has followed two themes, water resource management and teaching. She worked for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources in water rights policy and administration, then worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as regional water rights and title navigability coordinator. Early in her career, she taught eighth grade science, and later taught water resource management and environmental science classes at Alaska Pacific University. Retirement activities include playing button box accordion and traveling.